Crew 2009 Season Discussion
September 24, 2009 at 9:49 pm #265759
michaelcoyoteParticipantLogin to Send PM
MikeE7 wrote >>
I love that Rentaria isn’t afraid to wear orange shoes with the all yellow kit!
+1 to this.. Loved the orange shoes.. He’s Dutch, right?September 28, 2009 at 12:25 am #265760
L.A. Galaxy 0 – Crew 2 (Game 26 – September 26th)
In the midst of the busiest stretch of the season for the Crew, head coach Robert Warzycha turned to the depth on the roster as Columbus took on a Los Angeles Galaxy team fighting for playoff position. The faith was well placed as first time starters Emilio Renteria and Kevin Burns played valuable minutes. Eddie Gaven and Steven Lenhart recorded goals to give the Crew a 2-0 win and firmly plant the Crew at the top of the standings.
In front of a packed house, Columbus came out strong and controlled the game from the opening whistle. Burns, paired with Brian Carroll won the midfield battle. The makeshift backline of Hejduk, OÃ¢â‚¬â„¢Rourke, Brunner, and Zayner were able to blunt the GalaxyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s dangerous counterattack.
With the Galaxy attack nullified, the Crew offense probed for an opening. It would come in the 33rd minute as Emmanuel Ekpo took the ball on the left side drove down the sideline and sent in a pinpoint cross to the far post. Eddie Gaven came streaking towards the far side, outjumped Todd Dunivant and headed a perfect ball back past keeper Donovan Ricketts and off the post to give the Crew a well-earned 1-0 lead.
Columbus dominance would continue on both sides of halftime. Ekpo ripped a header just wide and tried a long shot late in the first half, but it wasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t until Renteria tracked down a long pass from the Crew 18 yard box that they were able to extend the lead. Renteria took the long outlet into the L.A. penalty area, turned his defender and ripped a shot. Ricketts spilled a rebound and Lenhart was there to clean it up and give the Crew an insurmountable 2-0 lead.
Lenhart would be credited with the unassisted goal, but Renteria created the chance with his hustle and determination. His physical prowess held off the defense and he was able to get off a powerful shot.
With 30 minutes left and a 2-0 lead, the Crew worked to close out the game. The Galaxy was afforded little time on the ball and really had one good chance on goal, a shot off the post by Chris Birchall. It was reminiscent of WednesdayÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s loss against Cruz Azul. Columbus shut down the second best team in the Western Conference and made them look like the far worse side. It was an excellent display of control and teamwork.
The Crew has now finished out their September MLS schedule with two wins and a tie against some of the best competition the league has to offer. Saturday was another complete win that overshadowed the billed main event of (the injured) David Beckham. His absence wasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t a factor as the Crew dominated an opponent that many saw as an early MLS Cup preview.
With a month, and four games remaining, in the league until playoffs, Columbus cemented their place as an MLS Cup favorite. The team has again made the playoffs with weeks to spare and has the inside track on the Supporters Shield. With a win on Tuesday against Saprissa, they can qualify for the knockout rounds of the CONCACAF Champions League. The team has made this a September to remember.October 2, 2009 at 4:23 pm #265761
Giving away some tickets today thanks to Patrick!October 2, 2009 at 4:24 pm #265762
Giving away some tickets today thanks to Patrick!October 4, 2009 at 11:52 am #265763
CREW SUFFERS RARE HOME DEFEAT SATURDAY, FALLING TO SEATTLE 1-0 AT CREW STADIUM
Missed PK dooms Crew to first home loss in nearly 16 months, ending MLS record home unbeaten streak at 22 games, but club maintains hold on first place
Roger Levesque scored his first career MLS goal and reigning league MVP Guillermo Barros Schelotto missed a penalty kick for the first time in his MLS career as the Seattle Sounders snapped the Columbus Crew’s MLS-record home unbeaten streak with a 1-0 victory on Saturday.
The Crew had a 22-game home unbeaten streak (16-0-6) in the regular season plus two wins in the playoffs since losing to San Jose on June 7, 2008, but it could not overcome Levesque’s goal in the 36th minute despite numerous chances. Despite the loss, the Crew remains in first place in the Eastern Conference, with a 12-5-10 record and 46 points, five points ahead of Chicago. Columbus leads the race for the Supporters Shield (most points overall) by two points over L.A. and three over Houston, which plays host to K.C. on Sunday.October 5, 2009 at 3:02 am #265764
Seattle 1 – Crew 0 (Game 26 – October 3rd)
The streak is over. The Seattle Sounders came into Crew Stadium and came out with a 1-0 win. It was a night when everything seemed just a little off. There was a shot from 25 yards that rang off the upright. There was a headed ball and a frantic bicycle clearance off the goal line. Most unbelievably, Guillermo Barros Schelotto missed the frame on a penalty kick. To use the well-worn phrase, it just wasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t the CrewÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s night.
The first half was a dismal a combination of sluggish play, bad bounces, and one defensive breakdown. The Crew looked out of sync. Passes were off target and the offense failed to threaten for most of the half. The offensive highlight was Eddie GavenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s 23rd minute near brilliant long-range shot that rang off the upright. It was perfectly placed, but refused to go in.
With the score still knotted at zero Seattle would capitalize just 12 minutes later. Former Crew player Brad Evans found Fredy Montero. William Hesmer ran up to meet the attempt, but spilled the rebound. Roger Levesque was there to capitalize on the broken play to give Seattle the 1-0 lead they would keep through halftime.
After appearing to sleepwalk through the first half, the Crew opened up the 2nd half strong. Columbus came out and tried to press offensively. The best series of chances would come in the 70th minute. Recent sub Steven Lenhart got a head to a redirected pass and it was heading goal ward until Tyrone Marshall cleared it with a bicycle kick. Shots kept peppering the goal, but the Crew simply couldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t score.
The clearest sign that a Crew win wasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t in the plans came in the 83rd minute. Eddie Gaven had just drawn a penalty three minutes earlier. It was a clear body check foul by Hurtado and it met every definition of a penalty. The Sounders players proceeded to berate the ref for two minutes as Marshall dug out the penalty spot. The normally calm Schelotto stepped up to the spot, but pulled his shot wide left, missing the goal completely.
With the best chance now gone, Columbus frantically searched for an equalizer. The Sounders defense was more than up to the task of defending the CrewÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s direct long ball tactics in search of a goal. As the seconds ticked away, it was clear that Columbus just wasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t able to break through.
The Crew faced 7 games in 21 days and I think the fatigue showed. They werenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t tired, but passes werenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t crisp and the normal sharpness wasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t there. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s apparent this team is struggling on offense. They donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t have stalwart defender Chad Marshall for at least another game. Whether or not this is a temporary hiccup or the start of a downward trend can be answered as soon as next week at New England.October 5, 2009 at 3:06 am #265765October 12, 2009 at 2:29 am #265766
Sorry, I wasn’t able to catch the game until late, so I won’t have a chance to do a full writeup. It was a great result considering 6 starters were missing against a team needing to win to assure playoff position.
It’s all good news though. With their win in New England, the Crew achieved another milestone. They will have home field advantage throughout the playoffs. They have to get past the home and home first round, but that means the Eastern Conference Final will be at Crew Stadium.
Padula’s goal looked like a fluke, but Renteria looked like a beast on the offensive end. He tormented the backline. Iro and Brunner kept the Revs from getting too many chances. All in all, it was a workman like performance. It was a classic grinding out a result type performance.
Oh, and Ekpo’s red card, absolute crap!October 18, 2009 at 7:18 pm #265767
Crew 0 – DC United 1 (Game 29 – October 17th)
The Crew offense again looked vaguely threatening, but got bogged down in the RFK Stadium muck as they were shut out for the 2nd time in 3 games; dropping a 1-0 decision to DC United. Columbus outshot the home side 10-3 with a 6-2 edge in shots on goal, but United made the most of their chances and stole the three points to stay in the playoff race and prevent the Crew from essentially wrapping up the Supporters Shield for best regular season record in MLS.
Both teams struggled from the beginning with offensive flow as two days of rain had fallen on the field before the game. Passes fell short as they skidded through pools of standing water. The Crew would press on offense, but a United counterattack would create the only goal of the game.
Boyzzz Khumalo took a ball on the right side of midfield crossed the center of the defense. Luciano Emilio made a run off the ball and cut through the heart of the defense. Kuhmalo dropped the ball off to Emilio who chipped Hesmer and put the ball just over the line and gave DC the 1-0 lead in the 17th minute.
The Crew would raise the pressure on the United defense, finding space on the left side. Rogers and Gaven both sent in dangerous crosses that were parried out by the just arrived DC goalkeeper Steve Cronin. The best chance would come as Rogers came free on the left side again and fired a onetime shot that Cronin again parried aside to preserve the lead in the 25th minute.
The Crew would continue to lead the shot totals going into halftime, but never really threatened the United goal. DC looked content to absorb the pressure an allow Columbus possession; taking the lead into the locker room.
The 2nd half would look the same as the field looked tilted as Columbus enjoyed the much greater share of the possession. The Crew had several decent chances. Burns found himself going to goal, but chose to pass and was intercepted. RenteriaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s off balance shot went wide. Rogers sent in a dangerous cross, but Cronin caught the cross. For every Columbus offensive jab, the United had a counter.
The CrewÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s chances were effectively killed in the 83rd minute when new signing Emilio Renteria justly earned a red card. Pressuring Julius James as the ball went into touch, he lashed out with his studs into the back of JamesÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ leg. Referee Alex Prus went straight for the red card and the Crew finished out the game with 10 men.
Columbus still controls their destiny for the Supporters Shield, but this is the second loss this month. The Crew offense has scored one goal this month and hasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t scored from the run of play for over 390 minutes, a streak of over four games. These are some troubling numbers as the Crew starts the playoffs in less than two weeks.
The Crew never looked entirely threatening on offense. Opposing teams are comfortable bunkering in and Columbus is lacking any potency on set pieces without Chad Marshall. Too many shots are getting blocked. This is a team that is looking short of ideas when it comes to the final third. Playoff competition is going to be tougher. A slump like this comes at the most inopportune time.October 21, 2009 at 2:20 am #265768
MikeE7MemberLogin to Send PM
CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals will be MASSIVE!October 21, 2009 at 3:13 am #265769
sixby9is42MemberLogin to Send PM
WOOHOO!!!!!October 21, 2009 at 3:48 am #265770October 21, 2009 at 3:59 am #265771
chaptalMemberLogin to Send PM
I love this team. Not enough to stay up until 4AM to watch the tape delay. But I love this team!October 21, 2009 at 1:29 pm #265772
berdawnMemberLogin to Send PM
Thanks for the link to the pics!October 23, 2009 at 4:17 am #265773
MikeE7MemberLogin to Send PM
2008 & 2009 Major League Soccer SupportersÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ Shield Champions
for best record in the regular season.